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Humane killing of nonhuman animals for disease control purposes

By M. Raj

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Reports and guidelines produced by international institutions such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE, 2005) describe various methods of killing nonhuman animals. Selection and implementation of a killing method may involve several factors. Preventing or minimizing risk to human health and safety may override animal welfare concerns if the disease has the potential to cause high mortality, for example, highly pathogenic avian influenza. Owing to the public health significance of this disease, the scope of this article presents only an overview of the welfare and practical aspects of large-scale killing of poultry on farms. Killing poultry in houses using a gas mixture eliminates the need for human contact with infective materials and birds. Several protocols for administering gas mixtures into poultry houses have been evaluated, mainly in Europe and North America. Overdose of anesthetics in feed and water has sedated birds kept under free-range or semi-intensive rearing systems. Containerized gas killing systems have proved successful on small-to-medium-size poultry farms. However, using nitrogen, a nonaversive gas, could greatly improve bird welfare.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 112-124
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700801925679
Language English
Author Address Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford BS40 5DU,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Anesthesia
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Carbon dioxide
  5. Carbon monoxide
  6. Culling
  7. Diseases
  8. Domesticated birds
  9. Euthanasia
  10. Gases
  11. Methodologies
  12. Methods
  13. nitrogen
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Poultry
  16. Public health
  17. Techniques
  1. peer-reviewed